Kentucky State Education Board and Department of Education inject a good weighting scheme for new assessments
Reversing a very contentious decision from the June meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education with Kentucky Department of Education staffers, a very weak plan for weighting various elements of the new Kentucky public school assessment program has been revised.
Now, the Kentucky School Boards Association reports the following weights will be used:
• 70 percent – “Next-Generation Learners” areas, which include test scores in reading, math, science, social studies and writing, achievement gap reductions, growth in the reading and math areas, students who meet college and career readiness targets and, for high schools, the graduation rate
• 20 percent – “Next-Generation Instructional Programs and Support,” which includes the program review results for subjects such as arts and humanities, practical living, world languages and additional writing areas
• 10 percent – “Next-Generation Professionals,” which includes effectiveness ratings for teachers and principals
Special interests, largely groups representing the arts and humanities and world languages teachers, swayed the board at its June meeting, resulting in a very unsatisfactory weighting scheme of 50/30/20. That would have provided far too much weight to the very subjective areas that will receive program reviews and staff reviews.
In sharp contrast, core academic subjects would have received far too little emphasis, a problem the board and the education department heard about after its June decision from many sources, including yours truly.
The fact that the board listened – and made these changes – is a hopeful sign for Kentucky’s new assessment program.
Phil Moffett, the Bluegrass Institute’s new president and CEO, will be on the “Kruser and Krew” show on Newstalk 590 WVLK-AM/FM at 1 p.m. (EDT) today.
Moffett will be talking about the institute’s exciting future as it builds alliances with the business community and tea parties and other liberty groups across the commonwealth to advance freedom, defend liberty and build a more prosperous Kentucky.
“Kruser and Krew” is hosted by Dave Krusenklaus and is broadcast weekdays from Noon to 3 p.m. EDT.
Listen live here.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) finally released high school graduation rate data today, and it will take some time to go over all of it. However, a first look at the new data, which for the first time has the KDE using a much more accurate calculation developed by the US Department of Education, raises some questions.
For one thing, last year Kentuckians were told our high school graduation rate in 2008-09 was 83.91 percent. Using the new formula, the KDE now more accurately reports the real rate was only 75.11 percent, 8.80 points lower.
It looks like the new calculations from the KDE agree fairly well with those from the US Department of Education for 2007-08. The feds say Kentucky had a graduation rate of 74.4 percent while the KDE calculated 74.99 percent, little more than a half a point higher.
So, here is the full set of graduation rates for the nation and Kentucky calculated by the feds since KERA began plus the new data for 2009 and 2010 from the KDE.
First note the new KDE data shows an increase in graduation rates over the past two years, which reverses a trend of decline from the previous two years. That change in trends may or may not be accurate. We’ll have to wait a year or two for the feds to do their own calculations to be sure.
Finally, even if the very latest data from KDE is correct, note that we still are not seeing rates better than some posted in the early days of KERA. So far, all we have done is to regain lost ground over the past two decades.
More later, so keep tuned.